Hairy woodpecker excavating a burned tree

Photo By/Credit
Courtney Celley/USFWS
Date Shot/Created
Media Usage Rights/License
Public Domain
In 2021, the Greenwood Fire burned 26,767 acres (about 42 square miles) in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota, largely within the Superior National Forest. The fire was believed to be sparked by lightning and worsened by exceptional drought conditions. More than 400 firefighters helped battle the fire, which was 80% contained and well-managed after about a month. No human lives were lost.

After wildfires, wood boring and bark beetles are attracted to the weakened trees left behind. Beetle larvae make great food for woodpeckers, and woodpecker activity is often easy to spot on the remaining charred trees.
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